5 Ways Workato Extends App Capabilities for Developers

We are excited to announce that Workato has been named the 2017 Engaging Digital Experiences Partner of the Year by Box! Combined with Box’s cloud content management platform, Workato has changed the way companies complete their workflows. This award recognizes the Workato platform and its ability to extend the capabilities of developers, solutions architects, consultants, and others to create new, intelligent solutions that solve unique customer use cases.

We’ve always envisioned that Workato would not only be an integration platform for app to app data integration but also a place where totally new automations and solutions could be built with little to no coding in half the time. And today, we know it’s possible.

Workato is Box's Engaging Digital Experiences Partner of the Year! Read about the award: Click To Tweet

“It’s more critical than ever for platforms to be open and interoperable in order to operate in a modern way,” said Jeetu Patel, Chief Product Officer at Box. “We selected Workato as Box’s Engaging Digital Experiences Partner of the Year because their platform enables customers to orchestrate workflows across Box and any other application they use to get work done.”

Here are 5 ways that Workato enables business users and developers to extend the capabilities of apps like Box and others.

1) We Bridge the Tech and Social Gaps for Developers.

Developers and IT specialists face seemingly insurmountable challenges when it comes to building integrations. Traditional integration tools were built to connect a few departmental System-of-Record apps, like ERP, CRM, marketing, customer support, HR, and ITSM. Once set up, no one expected these integrations to change much. But today, the average enterprise uses over 1300 apps. Integrations must now cover hundreds of systems-of-engagement (like Slack and social media), systems-of-insight (like Redshift, Tableau, and Splunk), and productivity apps (like JIRA and Trello) across departments.

Similarly, “citizen developer” and “citizen integrator” are among the most misused terms when it comes to integration platforms. A normal Salesforce admin or a marketing analyst simply cannot use the “citizen integrator” tools out there. These analysts and admins know their apps, but not things like XML, XSLT, REST, SOAP, or deployment concepts that traditional tools require them to know.

In other words, the scale of necessary integrations is much greater and growing rapidly. Integrations must also happen faster—in hours to days, not weeks or months—and they must change frequently as business needs evolve. And while integrations need to be created by business users, not just IT, they still need to governed, secure, and compliant. Otherwise, they’re just adding to the shadow IT problem.

We founded Workato to be different—to be an intelligent automation platform that addresses not just the technology gap but also the social gap in today’s dynamic business environments. Our platform does more to support the technical requirements of digital transformation and bridges the social gap by helping align your organization, business users, and IT with common tooling.

2) Our Platform Is Easily Extensible.

We consciously built our platform to be easily extensible. Not only do we support integration between thousands of apps, but developers can easily build their own connector if one doesn’t exist already.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could reuse integrations, instead of working from scratch every time? Click To Tweet

Stephen Williams, the founder of Atlas Identity, created our new Okta connector after spotting an opportunity to extend the value of the Okta app, which his company specializes in deploying. As specialists in cloud-based Identity and Access management solutions, Atlas Identity works with customers through the entire lifecycle, from requirements assessment through to delivery. Williams first realized the enormous value of combining cloud-based integration with cloud IAM after a client contacted him for advice on an unusual requirement that required coding a custom integration from scratch.

“In the IAM space, the need for application integration is very common,” says Williams. “Personally, I’ve built application integrations many times as customers commonly have a requirement that is not met by a product. And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could reuse these integrations, instead of working from scratch every time?’”

When it came time to build the connector, Williams signed up for a Workato Partner account, which provided him access to the SDK and developer portal. Initially, WIlliams began by creating an Okta app. “I got to know the Workato SDK, and I played around with creating apps,” he says. “I was quickly able to integrate my apps with Okta’s API and Workato’s SDK, which are easy to use and very well-documented.”

3) We Leverage Emerging Technology.

A hallmark of a good integration platform is whether it embraces up-and-coming technology to empower its users. We’ve worked hard to keep pace with changing business needs, and that includes building out support for new and emerging tech—like AI and machine learning. Our users can build AI-driven process automations via integrations with Watson, Einstein, and other AI platforms.

Many of our customers, for example, use Watson to detect customer service (CS) ticket sentiment, which is an important aspect of triaging issues and preventing churn. Imagine receiving a ticket from an important customer who is extremely unhappy. It’s code red and you need to address her issue promptly, but without proper triaging, the ticket may get lost in the deluge of requests the CS team receives every day. A slow response time will only exacerbate the issue and you risk losing an important customer.

Integrating your CRM, like Salesforce, or customer service app with IBM Watson is a game changer in this scenario. When the important customer files a ticket ServiceNow or Zendesk, Workato will send the message to Watson. Watson analyzes the customer’s message and scores it as “angry.” Workato then moves Watson’s score back into the customer service app and also sends it to Salesforce, so it’s viewable on the customer’s profile.

Next, using Workato, you can set up automatic responses based on the sentiment Watson assigns the ticket. These responses can be conditional actions, such as sending a text message to the CS manager if the Watson analysis reads a customer’s sentiment as angry and they are categorized as a VIP. Or, if Watson reads a happy message, Workato can automatically create a Trello card with the customer’s Twitter handle to let the marketing team know to follow up on social media with the loyal customer. You can even use Workato and Watson to harness personality insights to drive your sales approach—Workato can send a survey for a low “joy” emotion and much more.

But advanced technology isn’t just incorporated into our recipes; it’s baked into our platform itself. Our Recipe IQ feature uses machine learning-driven to suggest integrations and workflows based on billions of events processed by our platform every quarter.

4) We Prioritize Reusable, Community-Powered Integrations.

The traditional approach to automation is that of a lone-wolf working on their own on the integrations. They (typically an integration specialist) rethink integrations from scratch, implement them from scratch, deploy them from scratch, and then hand them over to business or IT. This is how developers worked, too, until GitHub and the open source movement came along. Now developers are vastly more productive by collaborating with other developers and leveraging the work that thousands of others have done. GitHub solves not just the productivity problem around writing code; it also solves the thinking problem around designing what code to write!

Similarly, intelligent automation for digital businesses demands a collaborative community of business users around automations within your company and between organizations. Community-powered integrations have more thought behind them, are at least 10x faster to implement (and function better out of the gate!), and are secure and protect your unique value differentiation via private integrations and automations that cannot be shared back to the community.

That’s why we created our recipe repository. With thousands of pre-built recipes, the repository makes it incredibly simple to draw inspiration from—and reuse—solutions created by other Workato users.

For example, when Box started their new Partner Program they immediately experienced an overwhelming number of applicants. They quickly determined that they needed to integrate several enterprise apps for an onboarding solution that could be implemented quickly. Box chose Workato, which took their 12-step onboarding process down to only 4. Their workflow was modeled off of Workato’s own internal partner program automation, making it easy to envision and customize. Now Box can onboard a new partner in less than an hour.

5) We Have The Most Secure ChatBot Solution.

A key feature of our platform is Workbot, a bot we created to allow users to do work in other cloud apps directly from chat apps like Slack. Workbot is highly customizable because it runs on Workato recipes, sets of steps that you can create with no code that Workato and Workbot will follow based on triggers and actions. You can use Workbot to fetch data from other apps and execute actions in those apps—from updating a lead in Salesforce to approving an employee’s time off request in Workday.

Most importantly, Workbot is the only Slackbot that can execute secure approval workflows. Using a patented technology called Verified User Access (VUA), Workbot ensures that only the right people can respond to requests. The VUA feature ensures that only the managers who are authorized to approve or reject these requests have the ability to do so. Verified User Access allows you to take actions inside of other apps—like NetSuite, for example—from Slack but requires that you authenticate by signing into your NetSuite account so that it can check if you have clearance. So for example, when Workbot lets you know that an employee requested reimbursement for an expense, it will prompt you to verify your Expensify credentials so no unauthorized users can approve requests.

Workbot is especially handy when it comes to giving feedback or approval in real time so that projects can be completed more quickly. One workflow developers can build out using Workato and Workbot is secure design approval in Slack. When a designer works on a project in InVision and finishes, they need to get approval. Instead of doing this manually, the designer uploads the designs into a Box folder. Workbot can then automatically send the folder link to the right person in Slack. After they look at the designer’s work, that person can then either approve or reject the design—all directly from Slack with the click of a button. Once the design is approved, Workato will automatically create a new GitHub issue and add the correct Box URL so the designs can be immediately built out.

Want to know more? Read the press release or see how Workato can extend your dev capabilities.